Posted 2010 at by & filed under Marketing Innovation.

I have watched Lady Gaga go from relative obscurity to international music phenomenon in a very short time. For anyone that has seen her perform or follows her fashion antics, you would probably agree she has done an amazing job of creating a very unique brand. (I love the comment about this get-up from my favorite fashion bloggers, GoFugYourself – “This reminds me I’m out of coffee filters.”) Well,according to Jackie Huba at the Church of the Customer Blog, marketers can learn quite a bit about loyalty marketing from Lady Gaga. It seems she is doing a whole lot of things right to build brand loyalty among her followers. Here are Huba’s five lessons about building brand loyalty Lady Gaga-style:

1. Give fans a name. “Gaga doesn’t like the word ‘fan,’ so she calls them her ‘Little Monsters,’ named after her album ‘The Fame Monster,'” Huba writes. “She even tattooed ‘Little Monsters’ on her arm and tweeted the pic to fans professing love for them.”

2. Make it about something bigger than you. During her concert tour, Gaga recites a “Manifesto of Little Monsters,” Huba says. The Little Monsters see it as a dedication to them.

3. Develop shared symbols. The official Little Monster greeting is the outstretched “monster claw” hand. As all Little Monsters know, the clawed hand is part of Gaga’s choreography, Huba notes.

4. Make your customers feel like rock stars. “One staple of Gaga’s ‘Monster Ball’ tour is to call a fan in the audience during the show,” Huba reports. “She dials the number onstage, the fan screams out, and is put up on a big screen.” She then invites that fan for a drink after the show.

5. Leverage social media. Gaga tweeted her fans before she opened the Grammy Awards. She also tweeted to fans that she was buying them pizza for waiting overnight at an album signing.

Whether Lady Gaga will leave a musical legacy like Madonna, Stevie Nicks or Janice Joplin, she is rocking brand loyalty and we should all learn to find cool new ways to show appreciation to loyal customers. Don’t know if I could sit at the desk all day wearing wire hoops, though.
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